JR Smith has the opportunity to win another NBA Championship as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Smith signed with the Lakers right before the NBA resumed their season in the bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
One person happy that Smith has found a home for the season is rapper and reality television star, Jim Jones. “Hey man, you gotta take it when you can get it,” Jones told me on #WORDSWITHSCOOP Presented by Orox Leathers.
“I’m glad he got signed. I mean, it’s f***ed up that he got signed in the midst of a pandemic and all the rules for playing are going to be extremely different, but he still has a shot to get back on that court and prove how dope he is and he’s back with LeBron again. As crazy as it may seem, the same guy who held the ball and called a timeout or whatever he did – he pulled a Chris Webber! He caught a Chris Webber moment! But he’s back next to the King and he has a chance to prove himself again.”
That Chris Webber reference Jones made refers to the waning seconds of the 1993 NCAA title game. A star on the Michigan Wolverines, Webber pulled down a rebound off a missed foul shot by the University of North Carolina with 20 seconds left. Webber appeared to travel and signal for timeout, but instead dribbled up the floor avoiding a brisk double-team and calling again for timeout. Except the Wolverines didn’t have any.
Comparatively, during the 2018 NBA Finals, Smith’s Cavaliers were playing against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
If you recall: the Warriors and Cavs were tied at 107-107 after George Hill made the first of two free throws. That’s when Smith grabbed the rebound off a would-be go-ahead shot in the paint when Hill missed the second free throw.
With 4.5 seconds remaining, Smith immediately put the ball on the floor and dribbled out beyond the 3-point line.
As the clock continued to unwind with 2.2 seconds remaining, LeBron James, then a Cleveland Cavaliers teammate of Smith’s changed position from expecting to receive a pass from Smith out beyond the arc to angrily pointing his arm toward the basket and gesturing for Smith to score the basket.
That didn’t happen.
The Cavaliers would eventually lose that game in overtime 124-114.
The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year as a member of the New York Knicks in 2013, Smith has been seldomly used in the NBA Playoffs and in six regular season games with the Lakers, he’s only averaged 2.8 points and shot 9.1% from the three point line.
That’s no reflection on his NBA resume. The 18th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets by way of St. Benedict’s Preparatory High School in Newark, New Jersey, Smith has career averages of 12.4 points per game and is a career 37.3% shooter from downtown.
While on #WORDSWITHSCOOP, I asked Jim Jones who he had in the NBA Finals. “I ain’t got no money on nobody this year man.” he told me.
“I’ve scrapped this year. I’ll wait until next year when It’ll be a little bit more organized and not trying to save the end of the year and take ‘em to some Disney World tournament. Feels like they are about to play Pop Warner or something. About to play some Little League football or something.”